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“Doing the very best with the resources available”
Review of The Jackson Zoo

The Jackson Zoo
Ranked #12 of 56 things to do in Jackson
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Enjoy a day of fun for the entire family at this zoo that houses large cats, monkeys and more than 250 other types of animals, including a contact yard for barn animals. Kids can take a ride on a real carousel, the whole family can enjoy miniature train, plus gift shop, and concessions.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I have been visiting the Jackson Zoo for 40 years. Some of my fondest childhood memories took place there. I took my children when they were young every few months. The zoo staff is fantastic, but their funding has dramatically decreased over the years. We recently lost our elephants to another zoo. Our zoo is still better than no zoo at all! Children still love it!

2  Thank OnTheGo99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 - 141 of 218 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2013

I just spend too much of my time reading these reviews on this site! I have to disagree with most of the negative ones. We have a five year old and go several times a year. The animals always look great and I go enough to see the zoo keepers interacting with the animals and can tell they truly care for them.

There are always adding new items as well. If you have not been in years, you should go. You would be blown away at all the new stuff in the last 10 years. Just last year they added a splash pad! Lots of new animal exhibits. The carousel to go along with the train ride. I saw someone complain about the price of the train ride, what do you expect for $2.00. A train can't do much more than go around in a circle. And guess what, that is what this one does?

I urge you to go visit and make an opinion for yourself. Unless most of the places you go you are always unpleased with and just hard to make happy, I bet you that you will enjoy the zoo!

The only negative that I have to agree with is that some of the sidewalks could use some work. I do understand that the age of the paths this issue will probably always come up until they can redo the MILES of trails they have but if you are in a wheelchair this could prove a problem.

Also it is not fair to compare to some of the other zoo's mentioned. Jackson has less than 175,000 people in it and I see comparison to Atalata (with a population of 450,000) and New Orleans (375,000) and Memphis (650,000). Compare apples to apples. Chattanooga is close to the same size to our zoo, I just went there and I bet our zoo is triple the size. Chattanooga had only a few large animals. Didn't even have giraffes.

Ovearl, our zoo is great. Go visit it! Be happy!

3  Thank ClayMansell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

We almost didn't go because we had read the reviews from previous attendants, I'm glad we ignored them! We went early in the morning the first weekend in November. I had read in the reviews that the animals were malnourished and depressed, I did not find that to be the case at all. In fact, I found it to be quite the opposite. I found the animals to be well fed, but not fat, alert and responsive to "sweet talk", especially the giraffes! They actually approached the wall when my husband and I started talking to them, Casper and Diamond are their names. I found the staff to be friendly and informative. Please understand that yes, the park does need a lot of work, but I've seen much worse. We found for the amount of money that we spent our experience could not have been much better, we even took the train ride! We'd also read that the train ride wasn't "worth the money"... I disagree. It was $2.00 each, yes, It's a silly ride that goes in a circle with not much to look at except a pond, trees and a few 'sketchy' looking gas stations. But what's life without a little silliness?! After all it's a miniature train! How silly did we look to grown ups on a mini train with no kids? Who cares! We had a great day and we would definitely go back!

5  Thank Ashley E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

We visited the zoo on a Wedneday in November. We saw about 20 other visitors during our 3 hour visit. Our party included three children (9 months, 19 months and 3.5 years old), two grandparents and two parents. The zoo is comfortable to walk for old and young alike, and the smart layout ties the end back to the entrance/exit.

Practicalties: Our off-season admission with a single seater stroller for the 9 month old and for a double for the other two kids was $45, which was super. The double stroller was awesome because the kids could get in and out themselves and there was lots of space for bags. Parking was plentyful, restooms clean and abundant. The carousel was $2/kid, with adults riding to supervise for free. The area surrounding the zoo isn't the best,but we felt entirely safe the whole time we were at the zoo.

Service: We came in contact with the ticket seller, the petting zoo keeper and the carousel ride operator. Each of them went above and beyond to make our visit special. The ticket seller sought out out a special tiny stroller for our 9 month old. The petting zoo kepper stopped her daily routine to offer us a guided tour inside the petting zoo. The carousel ride operator waved to our kids as they waved at him, and provided information on which exihibits the kids would enjoy the most. . Their pleasant disposition really helped the experience go from good to outstanding.

The Zoo: The zoo isn't the same as a big city zoo, but still has many big zoo animals and large, well-maintained enclosures. Highlights for our family included plentiful species of monkeys/orangoutans, rhino, snakes, turtles, flocks of flamingos, ostriches, zebras, storks, leopards, panthers and giraffes. We also petted docile goats and pigs. Our biggest dissapointments were that the elephant exhibit was closed and had been turned into the Elephant Cafe, and the unruly seals were nowhere to be seen.

The real question is: Will we be back? The answer: Absolutely! We may make the 20 minute drive again this week just to ride the train! (Train runs Tues and Thurs, all day, every 15 minute, with plenty of picnic space nearby).

We really enjoyed our visit, recommend it for families and hope you all have as good of a time as we did!

2  Thank R N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We came from out of state & expected something totally different. For Jackson to be the capital, this zoo lacked a lot. The animals looked starved, some animals looked to not even have water in the 100 degree heat. I have been to plenty of zoo's & I have never seen tigers & leopards look so skinny. We received a map upon entering & some animals were missing. The cafe was run down & closed. At the end of the day it was to much for a sad experience. My kids & I left feeling sad & bad for these animals

1  Thank Lenapher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
zoolady3, Manager at The Jackson Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2013

I am sorry to hear about your recent experience at the Jackson Zoo. Please know that we take our guests' experiences seriously.
At the Jackson Zoo, we are truly committed to providing the care possible for our animals. All of our animals are provided fresh, clean water at all times, though its location may be creatively hidden.
You may have also noticed the construction at two of our main exhibit areas. While not all of these animals are on view at this time (tapir is available for viewing on the African Boardwalk, and the Amur leopard by the rhino exhibit), they will all be coming back again in the spring to their newly renovated homes. We encourage you to come again in the spring when the construction has been completed. Check out our website for details.

Thank you for visiting the Jackson Zoo.

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